On the final day of the third Test match against Pakistan in Southampton, legendary England fast bowler James Anderson achieved a monumental milestone in Test cricket, scaled by no pacer before.
Anderson notched up the magical figure of 600 Test wickets, after dismissing Azhar Ali, who nicked an away going delivery towards Joe Root, placed at first slip.
However, if one scrutinizes Anderson’s numbers, it can be split into two halves, i.e., based on home and away games.
Home and away differential
At home conditions, there seldom has been any speedster as dominant as Anderson has been over the years.
In 89 matches played at home, the 38-year-old has scalped a whopping 384 wickets at a phenomenal average of 23.78. He picked 22 five-wicket hauls in the process.
Moreover, in the 67 Test matches played away from England, Anderson went on to clinch 216 wickets, at an average of 32.05.
The Lancashire cricketer has largely struggled outside English condition. He has picked 216 wickets at a strike rate of 66.7, and a meagre 3.2 wickets per Test match.
Now, if one looks at Anderson’s progression in Test cricket, it can be inferred that the seamer has only grown better with age.
Career progression per hundred wickets
Anderson took 29 games to reach the milestone of 100 Test wickets. However, his next 100 scalps came in 26 Test matches, with a significant improvement in average (34.4 – 32.2).
Further, the Burnley born took another 32 games to complete 300 wickets in Test cricket, with yet another substantial dip in average (32.2-30.43).
The England spearhead with the red ball was unstoppable since then. It took just another 23 games for Anderson to reach the 400 Test-wicket mark.
From there on, Anderson took just 27 and 26 more games to complete 500 and 600 Test wicket milestones, respectively. There has been a proportional dip in Anderson’s average in the period as he now boasts an incredible career average of 26.76.